One of the recent conferences I was at was a bit sobering - not for the data or for all the cool shit people are doing, but for the fact that several really big names in my field are all having funding issues. These are people who have averaged at least 2 or 3 CNS papers a year for the last 5 or so years and beyond. These are people who have set the pace for the field for years. These are the people who give talks that everyone discusses afterwards at the break.
One individual who is at a prestigious UK uni has been without funding for two rounds now, and they are making him move to a smaller office! Talk about tough love. I would be in a broom closet with two other people right now if those rules were applied to n00bs at my uni.
But the reality remains. These giants in the field are getting the $$. Granted, many of those I talked to were not from North America, so it may be a reflection of the economic realities of certain countries, but it's still a scary prospect. My hope is that funding agencies are making the move towards putting their dollars into the younger crowd, but if they are not willing to fund the people who are still VERY active and have a long history of innovation, it makes me concerned about the chances of my proposals.
We will see, I suppose.